It scarcely seems that it has been a quarter-century since I reported in my column that Bishop Victor T. Curry was stepping out on faith and founding a new church. That first service, held in the auditorium of the old Miami Northwestern Senior High School, drew an overflowing crowd. And it wasn’t too long before it was evident that Curry would, indeed, need to find a larger sanctuary to house his followers.
Now, 25 years later, Curry, the founding senior pastor of New Birth Baptist Church Cathedral of Faith International in Northwest Miami-Dade, is celebrating his silver anniversary as the spiritual leader of the church. The week-long celebration started May 16 and will culminate Sunday with services at 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. The theme: “Keeping the Charge — 25 Years of Faithful Pastoral Service.”
Curry has proved to be not only a spiritual leader, he also is a civic leader who has built his ministry into somewhat of a spiritual empire.
“I really didn’t think the ministry would grow so fast,” Curry said recently in a phone interview. “I just knew that it was the direction that God was leading and that He would bless the ministry. Church growth is the Lord’s obligation. Our job is just to share the Word and be faithful in our assignment. God does the rest.”
At Tuesday’s service, Curry said his good friend, the Rev. Arthur Jackson, preached in the topic, “The Best is Yet to Come.”
“For some reason,” said Curry, “I believe that. I believe that God is going to take us to another level in ministry. He said one of his dreams is that before he passes the ministry on the the next pastor, that New Birth will be debt-free. that way we can continue our ministry in the surrounding area and throughout the United States.
“One of our dreams is to be able to build affordable housing and to strengthen what God has already given us,” Curry said.
Prior to founding New Birth, Curry has served for seven years as the pastor of Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church in Liberty City.
As his new ministry was unfolding, so was Curry’s vision. Soon his ministry would grow to include the New Birth Broadcasting Corporation and Gospel AM 1490, WMBM; the Vision to Victory Human Services Corp. and the Dr. John A. McKinney Christian Academy, which offers a quality education to children in grades K-6.
In addition to being an outspoken civic leader, Curry is also the moderator of the Progressive Kingdom Baptist Association, which is under the auspices of the Florida General Baptist Association.
The week’s celebration includes 7 p.m. weeknight services. Speakers for the week include: the Rev. Joe C. Johnson of Ebenezer, Baptist church in Hallandale; moderator Alphonso Jackson Sr. of Second Baptist Church of Richmond Heights; the Rev. Dr. D. L. Powell and the New Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church; Elder Kenneth Duke and New Jerusalem Primitive Baptist Church; Bishop C. E. Glover and Mount Bethel Ministries at Fort Lauderdale; Bishop Victor Couzens of Inspirational Baptist Church at Cincinnati; and the Rev. Dr. Calvin McFadden of St. John’s Congregational Church at Springfield, Missouri. Gospel recording artist Bishop William Murphy was guest psalmist.
Curry is the father of three grown daughters. The anniversary celebration will conclude with services 7 and 11 a.m. Sunday, May 22, at the cathedral, 2300 NW 135th St.
MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT MAY 22
The Coral Gables Museum at 285 Aragon Ave. will be the site of a Memorial Day concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 22. The concert will be performed by The Alhambra Orchestra, conducted by Timothy Shade, who is also the orchestra’s music director.
The program, “The American Songbook,” will feature pianist Mia Vassilev. The orchestra will perform a selection of classical and popular American music, including Antonin Dvorak’s American Quartet and works by American composers Cole Porter, Stephen Foster, Aaron Copland and George Gershwin, to be performed by string quartet and piano.
Tickets are $20 and $15 for museum members. Light refreshments will be available for purchase. Tickets may be purchased by calling 305-603-8067 or visiting theamericansongbook.evenbrite.com.
MISSING CHILDREN’S RALLY
The second annual Missing Children’s Rally will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 25, at Florida National University’s Hialeah Campus, 4425 W. 20th Ave. in Hialeah.
According to some statistics from the FBI and Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a child goes missing every 40 seconds in the U.S. — 765,000 children a year.
Florida National University has joined with the Dr. Jose Regueiro Foundation, the Missing Children’s Network, and the Powerhouse Steering Committee to have the rally.
Speakers for the event will include: Fernando Alvarez, director of Investigations, Missing Children Global Network; Special Agent Victor Williams, Homeland Security Investigations; Sgt. Latasha Johnson, Special Victims Bureau, Miami-Dade Police Department; Carlos Aguilar, director of Christian Aguilar Search and Rescue Committee, K-9 trainer and Missing Children Global Network; psychologist Dr. Vilma Castro, president and founder of Jaclyn Elisse Cares for Youth Foundations; and Tony Sparks, vice chairman of Erase Child Trafficking.
The event is free and will have food, live music and family-friendly fun for everyone.
STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER CONCERT
The community is invited to the Stars and Stripes Forever concert 7 p.m. Friday, May 27, at Silver Palm United Methodist church, 15855 SW 248th St. The church choir will sing and will be joined with members of the South Dade Community Choir in performing favorite patriotic songs.
Current and former military men and women, police officers and fire fighters are invited to attend and are asked to wear their uniforms. Others attending the concert are asked to wear red, white and blue. And don’t forget to bring your flags.
The concert is free, but a love offering will be accepted to benefit the church’s choir music fund.
DIAMONDS AND PEARLS ALL WHITE PARTY
Mark your calendars for the Diamonds and Pearls All White Party and Scholarship fundraiser, to be 8 p.m. June 10 at Nine O One Event Conference Center, 901 NW 183rd St.
The event is being presented by the Eta Phi Beta Sorority’s Alpha Gamma Chapter. Tickets are $20 each and if you go, the sorority sisters are asking that you wear white and bring your own drinks and food. For tickets and more information call 305-336-6775.
Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Friends and Neighbors, c/o Neighbors, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.